Class of 2021
Filmmaker, Sanjay Patel dreamed of working in cinema when he was a child.
Grateful for the chance to pursue his childhood dream, he recently sat down with YMM and chatted about his transition into this career path, and how it shifted his view on measuring success.
YMM: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
SP: No course without risk. As someone rightly said, “The greatest risk in not taking the risk is living a life that’s not true to who you are.” Perhaps one of the most significant risks I’ve taken is jumping into filmmaking without any formal education. Not only that, but I also used my hard-earned money to make the two films I have made so far. But you know, things worked out very well, and it was worth taking the risk. I am so proud that I took that risk.
YMM: What is the most rewarding part of your career?
SP: As a filmmaker, I think self-gratification is the most rewarding part of my career. Using cinema to tell the stories you care about and to be able to make a difference through education, enlightenment, and empowerment of others is an essential and rewarding part of my film career.
YMM: How should success be measured?
SJ: As we get older, our priorities and needs change, and with that, perhaps our values too. When I was young and moved to Canada in the year 2000, my metrics for success were quite different— job, job title, beautiful home, building wealth, etc. But you know, now, the way I look at my life and measure success is quite different. I consider my health, happiness, emotional well-being, and my family as the most important thing. Success is also a mindset—to do the best I can without worrying too much about the final results. It’s about personal freedom; it’s about not giving up and standing on the ground when I believe in something, no matter what!
YMM: Who is your hero?
SJ: I would say that my mother is one of my heroes. She means the world to me—she is my hero, my idol, my role model. She is my everything. I admire my mother for her simple lifestyle, putting others’ needs above her own, but more importantly, the sacrifices she makes for her family. She is a very spiritual person and strongly believes in the mantra of “in the joy of others lies our own.”